In early 2019, the MTA announced that they’d be rolling out new redesigned subway cars with “open gangways,” and the first looks are finally here!
It was originally reported that the trains would be hitting the tracks in 2020, but the MTA has clarified that while the new R211 cars will be delivered to NYC Transit in 2020, they won’t start being used by the public until 2021.
As part of the “Fast Forward” program that will allow 50 years worth of subway updates to take place in only a decade, the MTA Board approved the $1.4 billion contract award of 535 of the redesigned cars to Kawasaki Rail Car Inc.
These new R211 subway cars are expected to start servicing the lettered train routes and Staten Island Railway in 2021, and 30 pilot cars (20 of which will have the “open gangway” feature) are planned to be delivered to NYC Transit this year. The open gangway will allow “riders to move freely between cars to reduce crowding and distribute passenger loads more evenly throughout the train” and also increase train capacity, according to the MTA’s press release.
Other features these new cars will have include doors that are 8 inches larger than the current MTA standard; “amenities and security” like cameras, digital displays, and illuminated door opening alerts; and a new blue exterior with larger windows and LED headlights. An original rendering can be seen below.
NYC Transit’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for the Department of Subways, Frank Jezycki, said: “We are very excited about these latest developments in our R211 car production because these new cars represent the future of the New York subway and will be the new standard for all new NYC Transit subway cars going forward. We are in constant communications with Kawasaki throughout the production process, which is on schedule and on budget so that our customers will be able to benefit very soon from the latest car technology available.”
On Monday, February 24, the MTA announced their “plans to develop and purchase up to 949 new subway cars with an open-gangway configuration.” The new state-of-the-art cars will replace the retiring R62 and R62A fleets. According to the press release, NYC Transit will be making a base order for 504 new cars (now being called R262) “with the option of 445 additional cars, and a second option to buy an additional 415 cars through the 2025-2029 Capital Plan.”
featured image source: MTA
Also published on Medium.